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Old 04-06-2016, 05:28 PM   #1
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Worthwhile upgrades?

At some point in the near future we will be looking to buy a late 90's/early 2000's 34' Airstream. I know about checking for water damage, tire and battery age, etc. What are worthwhile upgrades that I should look for, and what might they be worth? From the various threads, I'm guessing that solar power is such an upgrade. My gut feeling is that the greater the solar capacity the more the system is worth, but any guesses as to how much? Full current retail? 75% of current retail? 50%?

What "upgrades" simply make the coach easier to sell? New curtains, maybe?

While we get our Foretravel ready to sell (and then wait for it TO sell) I want to look at various offerings and try to get a feel for what is a reasonable price for a coach.

David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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Northern Illinois , Illinois
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Posts: 408

One upgrade to look for is 50 amp dual air. I don't believe that this upgrade became a popular option until around 2010. Our 2008 Airstream 34 didn't come with 50 amp or dual air. I did this upgrade last summer at their factory.

I don't believe that any upgrade would be at full value unless just done. I would use a depreciated value based upon age.

Other upgrades available were a larger refrigeration (10 cubic foot vs 8). Also the unit may have a "stacker" window to the right of the door rather than a fixed picture window. The "stacker" windows are openining Windows with a vista window below.

You already mentioned solar.

Some units may have leather versus cloth couches.

Some of the older 34's have propane tanks that "sit" horizontally rather than vertical. This may be a problem to get the valves replaced. Others will know more than myself on this.

Some may have hard wood floors.

A trailer is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Good luck on your search.


2008 Classic 34
Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab CTD

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Old 04-06-2016, 07:23 PM   #3
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
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As someone with a big solar system, I would say don't pay a premium for solar that you didn't have installed yourself. And Airstream's factory solar is a joke, so again, no premium.

400 watts of solar in 2007 might of been worth $5000 then, but just because you can buy a 400 watt kit for $1000 today doesn't make that solar on that RV from 2007 worth an extra $1K, who knows what state that system is in or how it compares.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:23 PM   #4
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
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If I were a buyer I look for the upgrades that make my travels easier, example would be a QUALITY wireless backup camera or comfortable recliner sofa.
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:35 PM   #5
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Thanks. Keep the ideas coming.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:39 PM   #6
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As an owner knee deep in upgrades with a now 10 year old AS, I say that an upgrade has value to the one doing it but perhaps not to you. Tonight I received my new sofa from Villa. Ultra leather and beautiful. A definite upgrade to me. My new floor came last week. Since I want the ability to store underneath AND have a second bed, I could not go with the recliner model; however, it was still very pricey. Another upgrade is the electronics. Depending on the model and year, upgrades to add a ceramic commode, new floor and fridge or water heater are other items. I would also add new mattresses, a 16" tire/wheel package and or hitch. It just depends on what has value to you. Money-wise, some are more expensive than others- hitch, SOFA, fridge, etc.

Perhaps another way to look at it is age/replacement. The fridges seem to go out fairly soon so if it is original and a newer model, be ready. Solar is nice. I am quite indifferent on the AC situation as I maintain the BTU rating formula is fully applicable to an RV as well. TO say it another way, I have a 25' and an 11K BTU unit cools it quite wellIt may not out west in dry heat but it works well even in the 95 degree humidity as it should with that space volume and R factor. The only time I felt warmer was in Charleston last summer 98+ very hot parked in direct sunlight with no trees and there was no breeze. It was hot everywhere yet the little bugger cooled it down to around 80 degrees. That is about as good as anyone can expect in that heat.

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